Rather than spending a few hundred dollars getting a good, reliable setup for an airbrush (airbrush, compressor, and any other miscellaneous needles and additions necessary) or resorting to brush on primer to get a figure large or small primed, why not just use a reliable aerosol primer (Army Painter, Board to Pieces, P3 or other brand that has a large temperature tolerance) to achieve perfect results.
It is possible to utilize these cans regardless of the weather as well, which will debunk the popular myth of some locations being impossible to prime in without resorting to an airbrush or brush on primer. I live in Louisiana, and can honestly tell everyone reading this article that I have primed during a hurricane, outside, without any problems what so ever. I just pay close attention to what the weather is doing, and how the models are handled prior to priming.
Here are some tips and tricks that help me get the perfect primed model time and time again:
2. Where your models are stored before priming. Don’t take the models that have been stored in cold locations directly outside and start to prime them, metal/pewter models especially. Metals will sweat with a temperature change, and this will react poorly with the primer, causing your primer to be spotty, with large sections of it rubbing off. Let the models adjust to room temperature at the very least, or if you have the AC unit running, take them outside and place them in indirect sun for about an hour or so to allow them to adjust to temperature, and dry off any condensation that may have been present.
4. Check your paint. This is a twofold note of caution. Check the age of your cans of primer, ensure the bead is loose and rattles so the paint will mix well. Secondary, check the nozzles of any paint you are planning on using on the models. Make sure the nozzles are clean, and free of paint, that they aren’t covered over in paint, or potentially spray chunks of dried paint onto your project by not being thoroughly cleaned. Regardless of the contents, when you are finished with an aerosol paint can, make sure you turn the can upside down and spray it until it’s clear (even varnish has a slight foggy colour to it and will spray clear in a couple of seconds) to prevent the nozzle or upper portion of the can clogging, and destroying the entire can of primer, as it isn’t cheap.
As always, if you've got any questions on using aerosol primers or priming models, feel free to email me. I try to answer any hobby related questions sent to me in a timely fashion. Maybe one day I'll have an "Ask RedStickStudio" session via blog or other location!
Be sure to checkout my blog Red Stick Studio, for more articles on the artistic side of miniatures!
Editors note- Be sure to checkout Spikey Bits' "Which Primer is the Best" article from back in the day for even more on this magical yet essential topic!